According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is all about creating, publishing and distributing content that your customers and potential customers find useful. Unlike most marketing strategies, the goal is not necessarily to get them to buy something.
“Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.” –Content Marketing Institute
You see it all the time online. For example, I know a ghostwriter who shares free information with authors and potential authors about writing and publishing through a blog. Infographics, articles, e-books, instructional videos and forms are also examples of content marketing.
So why should every author use content marketing?
1. Your published book is full of content that can be re-mixed or re-purposed into dozens of other products that can be given away for free to encourage the people who receive them to come back and buy the book.
Brainshakers Interactive reported that the following products were the most popular content marketing products for 2013 (they are listed in order of popularity):
- Social Media (other than blogs)
- Blogs (that can be emailed to subscribers as part of a mailing list strategy)
- eNewsletter (that can also be part of a mailing list strategy)
- Case Studies
- In Person Events
- Print Magazines
- Traditional Media
- Research Reports
- Branded Content Tools
- Print Newsletters
The words within the pages of your book can easily be edited to form any of these products. For example, if your book is about empowering women, you can get the contact information for the editor for a national women’s magazine like Self and edit four pages of your book to submit as an article for publication in the magazine.
You can take those same four pages and create a PowerPoint presentation based on the information, then you can turn the presentation into a video by recording your screen as you click through the presentation and your voice as you explain the information to your audience (Active Presenter is a free downloadable tool that will allow you to do this). You can release the finished product as a YouTube video. YouTube is still the Internet’s second largest search engine, so releasing that video (and featuring information about where your book is available for purchase) makes it easier for people to learn about your message.
You already own the copyright to the information in your book, so use it!
2. Content marketing works.
Need I say more?
3. Content marketing is one of the least expensive forms of marketing available.
Please see previous graphic and note how the people surveyed reported that they got more results with less than half of their usual marketing budget.
4. Content marketing is easily integrated into other forms of marketing.
Robert Rose said it best when he wrote this title for a guest blog post, “Content Marketing Is the Butter, Not the Bread.” His article goes on to explain that traditional marketing strategies work, but they can “taste better” when combined with content marketing.
For example, if you have a book signing event to launch your new book (a traditional marketing strategy), you can maximize your time spent there by having someone video record your interactive discussion with the audience about your book. It’s even better if they ask you questions. Then you can release a copy of the video onto YouTube and tag it with keywords that are mentioned in the video. Now you have a new online marketing tool that works 24/7 to generate interest in your book, and it was created at an event that you already planned to attend.
If you liked that idea, you may really like this one. Why not use the questions that the audience asked you, and that other readers have asked you, and create a discussion guide that you can give away for free with bulk orders to encourage book clubs and other groups to feature your book.
(Notice that both of these examples require no money from you…unless you don’t already have a video recording device or know someone who will let you use theirs. )
5. Content marketing is a great for helping you automate and delegate your sales process.
Because your original message has already been professionally edited and approved by you before it was printed in your book, it is easier to delegate the creation of content marketing products to those who have the technical skills you need. Fiverr is a great place to find talented techies who can do the job.
There are also dozens of online services that you can use to automate your sales process. For example, you can use a free tool like HootSuite to schedule Facebook posts that promote a free chapter download that potential book buyers can download automatically when they follow a link to your website and join your mailing list. As part of your mailing list, you can have an autoresponder series that automatically sends that person additional information about the book and invites them to buy the book, all without you having to do anything.
The Take Away
Content marketing 1) uses the information you already have in your book to 2) increase your book’s exposure for 3) less money than most other marketing strategies 4) while effortlessly tying into your other marketing strategies and 5) allowing you to automate and delegate part of your marketing process.
Businesses that use content marketing wish they had an entire text of information to base their strategy on, but you already have what you need to get started.
There are more blogs coming soon about building a content marketing strategy based on your book, so stay tuned.
Here’s a question that I would love to read your reaction to in the comments below:
Question: I’ve sprinkled several examples of content marketing products you can create based on your book, can you come up with an example of your own?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." Images:
By Ingridarcher Ingrid Archer (Own work made by spotonvision) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Bsi-seo-brainshakers (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons